Dear Blackberry/Research In Motion,
The thrill is gone. Our relationship needs serious therapy to repair the damage or I suspect we will be getting divorced soon. I discovered Blackberry in 2006 when I instantly fell in love with the Pearl (8100). My very first smartphone!! You had me at hello. Soon a few friends and family members joined the club and they too were wooed by its charms…. After we all learned about Blackberry Messenger it was a match made in heaven.
Those who know me best KNOW that I am a gadget obsessed girl and after my 2 year love affair with the Pearl I was ready for something new… so I moved on to the Curve… unfortunately AT&T had a few connectivity issues in the building where I worked so our affair was destined to only be a brief fling. Before the end of my 30 day trial I was forced to return the Curve to the store and take my services to Sprint. So back to the Pearl I went and this time I had a newer model (8130 yay!). Also around this time my job decided they needed to be able to contact me whenever, so they issued me a 7100t and later upgraded me to a 8703e. Two Blackberry devices at once I was in BB paradise.
Once again for about another year all was well until one night my phone kinda spazzed on me and started snapping photos on its own at 2 a.m. After much effort I was able to stop it by a battery pull and a full shutdown. The next day however before I knew it I had 300 photos of the inside of my purse!!!
I was a year into my contract and as a preferred customer I could upgrade AND I had a $150 credit! Oh Joy what would I choose to be my next BB?! If I was going to stay with Sprint my only choices were the Curve (blah), 8703b (no), or the Pearl (been there done that). What was a girl to do??? I did what any self-respecting Blackberry fanatic would do… I emailed the CEO of Sprint, Dan Hesse. I laid bare my love for Blackberry and asked when, if ever Sprint would have any newer devices. Their website was loaded with HTC, Samsung, Motorola, etc but they only had 3 Blackberries when AT&T at the time had 8 different models. Verizon Wireless and T-mobile were not far behind with 6 or 7 devices. I couldn’t understand why I was being deprived!!! I was reading Crackberry.com and Boy Genius Report religiously and there seemed to be no relief in sight… not as long as I was a Sprint customer that is….
The newest BB on the scene was the Blackberry Bold 9000. I watched the commercials longingly, but I had no idea how I’d be able to own that phone at least not while being a Sprint customer. Well thanks to my good ole Pearl deciding to take a trip to Crazytown in the middle of the night that sealed the deal. *Cue Kelly Rowland’s Motivation* I headed over to AT&T to rekindle our relationship. A short while later I had my new Precious in my hand. Soon a whole new world opened up… I could talk and text (something that was spotty at best with Sprint). Not only was I talking and texting I could also surf the web AND to my all time favorite thing and that was chat on my BBM!!!!!
Thank the Lord for 1 year upgrades because the following year I was able to get the Bold 9700 and this year I upgraded to the Torch. I’ve really enjoyed the updates that come from having OS 6. I can definitely say the company is making a step in the right direction BUT (I know and it pains me to say this) RIM is woefully behind. For awhile it seems every day on Twitter there were Team Iphone vs Team BB battles. Honestly, I wasn’t moved or bothered by the insults and I definitely couldn’t understand why adults were engaging in my phone is better than your phone conversations (and no I am not saying this because I have a BB). I just feel like you like what you like and that’s it. I don’t knock the iphone or Apple, because I own 2 ipods so I am definitely NOT hating on Steve Jobs. I love my Blackberry because I love BBM, the calendar/scheduling and email integration. I like knowing that when someone sends me an email as soon as they hit send it is right there in my face. I tend to get annoyed when folks text/call and say hey I sent you an email… ummm ma’am or sir I am looking at it right now. If you were going to call you might as well have just told me whatever it was you emailed… but I digress… Here’s what I don’t love at the moment.. My phone..my beloved Blackberry Torch that is ONLY 6 months old lately has been being very half-assed. My trackpad will suddenly decide that it doesn’t want to work no matter how hard I press it.. yes I know I have a touch screen, but I am kinda attached to my trackpad dammit! So this issue usually requires a hard reset once or twice in order for the pad to start working again. For the last 2 weeks or more my phone will shut down for no apparent reason. The screen fades to black and when I tap a key it will pop up only to shut off and fully reset. I could call my wireless provider, BUT what can they do really… other than send me another phone… this would be ideal if they were not going to send me a refurb! I am sorry I am a bit of a gadget snob and honestly I don’t want someone else’s raggedy phone the company techs have tinkered around with and repackaged for some poor schmuck like me.
Sigh! I feel like My trusty BB and I have reached the crossroads in our relationship and I cannot really say what’s going to happen. Sure RIM is promising us big things with OS 7, BUT I want to know if it’s really going to be a big change? Last year they said OS 6 was going to be the game changer, while I have enjoyed the updates it wasn’t anything to write home to Aunt Jane about as my mother would say. I’m no longer wowed. I don’t feel like my voice is being heard. I am a member of the Blackberry Market Research panel AND I test out new applications in Blackberry Beta Zone, but it seems like they aren’t paying attention or at least asking the right questions.
So my dear RIM I’ve said all this to say you’ve gotten complacent. You lack focus. You are not giving me the same level excitement you did 5 years ago. I’ve been loyal (if you’ve been paying attention I’ve owned/used 8 Blacberry devices) and now I want something in return. I have about 6 months until its upgrade time again and already my eye has begun to wander. Slowly, but surely all of my friends are jumping ship and while I still have a significant number of BBM contacts A LOT of the people I speak to daily are no longer available for me to PING! I know I am just one person in a sea of many customers, but I am sure I am not alone. I fear if I leave I’ll never come back….